261. Letter From Chancellor Adenauer to Secretary of State Dulles1

My Dear Mr. Dulles: I was very pleased with the message which you sent to me at Mürren2 during the difficult negotiations at the Geneva Conference and also with the second communication which Mr. Coburn Kidd delivered to me today on your behalf.3 At the same time you relieved my anxieties greatly. These tokens of your thoughtfulness have moved me; they are the expression of a friendship which binds us together.

I believe that the Western Powers achieved their aims at this conference. The standpoints of the two sides became clear. No sensible person can indulge in any illusions about the real aims of the Soviet Union. I consider it a positive result that it was possible to commit the Russians to a new conference of Foreign Ministers in October of this year and to agree on a common agenda for it which does justice to the interests of the West.

I know that the positive result of this conference and the unanimity which the three Western Powers have shown are due in large measure to your tireless and consistent work. For this, I should like to convey to you my great admiration and sincere thanks.

With the conclusion of the Geneva Conference we have entered into a new phase of the East-West relations which is no less dangerous than the preceding one. We shall have to reckon to an increasing extent with so-called détente maneuvers by the Soviets, designed to deceive public opinion in our countries about the real aims of the [Page 540]Soviet Union, lull our peoples to sleep, and thereby at the same time weaken the defensive strength and solidarity of the West and destroy its unity. I believe that today, more than ever, watchfulness and close cooperation by the Western governments are necessary in order to counter this new Russian tactic effectively. I consider the results of the past conference, however, as a good omen for the cooperation of the Western nations in the difficult coming negotiations with the Soviet Union.

From everything that I have heard about the course of the conference the Soviets do not seem to feel very much at ease. The unity and solidarity of the West have undoubtedly made an impression on them. I regard the proposal of President Eisenhower concerning the inspection of armaments from the air4 as a very important contribution to the solution of the disarmament problem and only hope that it will be discussed in detail in the UN Commission. I hardly believe that this proposal suited the Soviets very well.

I hope that after all the exertions of the last few weeks you have some time for rest, which you have deserved as few others.

Thanking you once more, I wish to convey my best regards and wishes also to your esteemed wife.

Faithfully yours,

K. Adenauer5
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–GE/7–2555. Secret. Translation. The original German language text of the letter is attached to the source text; see Erinnerungen, pp. 472–473. A slightly different translation was transmitted in telegram 197 from Geneva, July 26. (Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–GE/7–2655)
  2. Document 229.
  3. Not further identified.
  4. For text of President Eisenhower’s “Open Skies” proposal, see Document 221.
  5. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.